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Fenwick Island, Delaware

Fenwick Island is a town located in Sussex County, Delaware. As of the 2000 census, the town had a total population of 342.

Fenwick Island, together with the towns of Lewes, Rehoboth Beach, Dewey Beach, Bethany Beach, and South Bethany, comprises Delaware's beach resort area and is Sussex County's most densely-populated and fastest-growing area.

Fenwick Island and its neighbors to the north, Bethany Beach and South Bethany are popularly known as "The Quiet Resorts". This is in contradistinction to the wild atmosphere of Dewey Beach and the cosmopolitan bustle of Rehoboth Beach. Fenwick Island, however, is somewhat less "quiet" than "the Bethanies" because it is immediately across the state line from Ocean City, Maryland, which has a well-deserved reputation as a wild place.

Named after Thomas Fenwick, a planter from England who settled in Maryland, Fenwick Island lay in the part of Delaware which was claimed by Lord Baltimore and his heirs during the Penn-Baltimore border dispute.

The town does not sit on an actual island, despite its name, but rather a barrier island between the Atlantic Ocean and Little Assawoman Bay .

Local legend has it that Cedar Island, in Little Assawoman Bay, was a spot for pirates to bury treasure. Regardless of the truth of the legend, the Delaware coastal area was well-known as a place for pirates to hide from the law.

The town was an unincorporated area between South Bethany and Ocean City, Maryland until July 1953, when the Delaware General Assembly passed an act to incorporate the town. Local sentiment demanded incorporation to prevent the relentless high-rise development of Ocean City from creeping north into Fenwick Island.



Location of Fenwick Island, Delaware
Fenwick Island is located at 38°27'34" North, 75°3'13" West (38.459314, -75.053563).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 1.3 km² (0.5 mi²). 0.9 km² (0.3 mi²) of it is land and 0.4 km² (0.1 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 28.57% water.


As of the census2 of 2000, there are 342 people, 178 households, and 126 families residing in the town. The population density is 388.4/km² (994.5/mi²). There are 666 housing units at an average density of 756.3/km² (1,936.7/mi²). The racial makeup of the town is 99.42% White, 0.00% African American, 0.00% Native American, 0.00% Asian, 0.00% Pacific Islander, 0.00% from other races, and 0.58% from two or more races. 2.63% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 178 households out of which 5.6% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 67.4% are married couples living together, 2.8% have a female householder with no husband present, and 28.7% are non-families. 26.4% of all households are made up of individuals and 15.7% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 1.92 and the average family size is 2.25.

In the town the population is spread out with 6.1% under the age of 18, 2.6% from 18 to 24, 11.1% from 25 to 44, 40.6% from 45 to 64, and 39.5% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 61 years. For every 100 females there are 89.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 86.6 males.

The median income for a household in the town is $58,333, and the median income for a family is $68,750. Males have a median income of $46,607 versus $48,750 for females. The per capita income for the town is $44,415. 8.5% of the population and 3.3% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 0.0% of those under the age of 18 and 7.1% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.


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Last updated: 05-29-2005 01:37:15
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